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List of useful and frequently used DOS Commands

This list of DOS commands is very useful when repairing Windows after a system crash when Windows doesn’t load and the only option you have is a Dos command prompt. Use the “help” command to find the usage and details of any particular command e.g. C:>help copy

  • CHDIR – Displays the name of or changes the current directory.
  • CHKDSK – Checks a disk and displays a status report.
  • CLS – Clears the screen.
  • COMP – Compares two groups of files to find information that does not match.
  • COPY – Copies and appends files.
  • DATE – Displays and/or sets the system date.
  • DEFRAG – Optimizes disk performance by reorganizing the files on the disk.
  • DEL – Deletes files from disk.
  • DELTREE – Deletes a directory including all files and subdirectories that are in it.
  • DIR – Displays directory of files and directories stored on disk.
  • DISKCOMP – Compares the contents of two diskettes.
  • ECHO – Displays messages or turns on or off the display of commands in a batch file.
  • EDIT – Starts the MS-DOS editor, a text editor used to create and edit ASCII text files.
  • EXIT – Exits a secondary command processor.
  • EXPAND – Expands a compressed file.
  • FASTHELP – Displays a list of DOS commands with a brief explanation of each.
  • FIND – Finds and reports the location of a specific string of text characters in one or more files.
  • FOR – Performs repeated execution of commands (for both batch processing and interactive processing).
  • FORMAT – Formats a disk to accept DOS files.
  • GRAPHICS – Provides a way to print contents of a graphics screen display.
  • IF – Allows for conditional operations in batch processing.
  • LABEL – Creates or changes or deletes a volume label for a disk.
  • MEM – Displays amount of installed and available memory, including extended, expanded, and upper memory.
  • MKDIR – Creates a new subdirectory.
  • MORE – Sends output to console, one screen at a time.
  • MOVE – Moves one or more files to the location you specify. Can also be used to rename directories.
  • PATH – Sets or displays directories that will be searched for programs not in the current directory.
  • RENAME – Changes the filename under which a file is stored.
  • RMDIR – Removes a subdirectory.
  • SORT – Sorts input and sends it to the screen or to a file.
  • XCOPY – Copies directories, subdirectories, and files.

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